Anacapa Island


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Photo by Dan Harding - .East Anacapa Aerial
Photo by Donna Hendricks

Anacapa is the closest island to the mainland, just 12 miles from the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Most of Island Packers departures to East Anacapa Island are from our location in the Channel Islands Harbor.  Travel Time is approximately one hour, a little longer if we come across interesting wildlife in the channel.

You can visit East Anacapa Island for the day, camp overnight or view the Island on a non-landing trip on our Island Wildlife Cruises:

Photo by Tim Hauf

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Anacapa is comprised of three small islets; East, Middle, and West. Exploration is permitted on the east islet, accessed via the Landing Cove, and a small beach on the west islet called Frenchys Cove (closed due to trail erosion).   The middle islet and most of the western islet remain a wilderness area set aside for nesting seabirds, like the endangered California Brown Pelican.

Photo by Doug Mangum

From February through April, Anacapa is a rainbow of color created by the bloom of native wildflowers. Intensity and duration of the bloom differs a bit each year due to varied rainfall and temperature.

As the spring bloom fades the island comes alive with the cry of Western Gulls guarding their nests of eggs.  Eggs usually hatch at about 5 weeks after being laid and fledge the nest at about 6 to 7 weeks of age.

Sea Gull eggs on Anacapa Island
Look Mom, I'm trying to fly

Just as the chicks leave the nest, park rangers begin the “Anacapa Live” video program. Visitors can experience a live virtual tour of the kelp forest when they watch the underwater video program. This program is scheduled for Wednesdays in Spring/Summer. Images are beamed up to the Landing Cove’s video monitors. The program is interactive so visitors can listen to, and talk with the divers via a special underwater communication link. This year there will also be some live guided hikes on Anacapa you can view online.

Due to its size and orientation, the Landing Cove at Anacapa Island is more affected by sea conditions than other landing sites of the Park. Island Packers anticipates making landing on all scheduled trips, however landing decisions can frequently only be made on-site by vessel captains. As such, Island Packers does not guarantee landing at Anacapa Island. In the event a scheduled landing trip is unable to land, passengers will have ticket costs prorated.


  • Photo by Dan Harding
  • Photo by Dan Harding - Frenchys Cove
  • Baby Pigeon Guillemots in the landing cove of Anacapa Island
  • Photo by Michele Wassell
  • Photo by Dan Harding - .East Anacapa Aerial